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June 29, 2009

Venus Williams


V. WILLIAMS/A. Ivanovic
6-1, 0-1 (ret.)

THE MODERATOR: Questions for Venus Williams, please.

Q. Probably not the way you want to advance, but you advance nonetheless. Can you just talk about that.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I don't even know the last time that I had these circumstances. I don't think ever in a slam. So I think she was in a lot of pain.
You know me, I'm one of those players I just only pay attention to what's going on on my side of the net. But today I felt really sad for her actually. She was really upset.
This is Wimbledon. It's the last place you want to have an injury that you can't overcome. So I'm wishing her a lot of luck in her recovery.

Q. Did you notice the moment when she was injured?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I just think it happened in the last game, and I guess it was painful. You know, she's tough. She tried to not show it. But, you know, professional players, we're always in a little bit of pain of some sort. So you get used to the pain level, but I guess it was something she couldn't work through.

Q. At least you have to be very happy with how you played in the first set: aggressive, controlling everything, seemed to be clicking pretty well.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I'm a control freak. Yeah, I love controlling. You know, I'm used to that. I mean, that's how I was taught to play, so I was pleased to go out there and play well against someone as good as her.
You know, she didn't have a lot of opportunities in that first set - and not because she wasn't playing well; I think I was just on top of the ball.

Q. This is old hat for you to be at this stage at this tournament. How are things going for you right now compared with your other runs to titles?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, that's what everyone wants to know. Every year's so different. For me, I definitely think about -- it's not even think about. Those wins are always with me, that experience and that confidence. But also they're always mine. I want more. I'm figuring out this year what it's gonna take for me, and I know it's gonna be something different.

Q. What are you most pleased with in your game and your experience at this Wimbledon?
VENUS WILLIAMS: When you're a player, usually you're never pleased. You're always, Oh, this wasn't good enough.
But, gosh, I guess just playing aggressively and returning well and, you know, getting in when I can. That tennis is are rewarding on this surface.

Q. Considering you're a five-time winner here, did you kind of figure you might play under the roof by this time in the tournament?
VENUS WILLIAMS: It's just so ironic, huh, when all the dollars are spent, or pounds, and it won't rain.
So I think for once everybody, like, wants it to rain just so someone can use the roof. It will be very ironic if it rained on finals days and no one ever played under the roof, and what do you know, huh?
But whichever way you take it. Yeah, who would have thought. I've never played a Wimbledon where it hasn't rained.

Q. Have you seen it closed?
VENUS WILLIAMS: No, I haven't. I haven't.

Q. You mentioned you were a control freak. Could you talk about that a little bit, both on court, and does that apply off court, too?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Off the court I don't think I'm controlling, no. I mean, of my own life, for sure. I live my life. I don't want to play a role in it.
But I'm a little bit obsessive. But I think every tennis player, every athlete is either obsessive or compulsive or something. Because you can't get this good without some kind of a little idiosyncrasy.

Q. Have you seen the way Rafa deals with his little water bottles on court, all this attention to detail?
VENUS WILLIAMS: No, I haven't at all.

Q. The club issued a statement this afternoon saying a small number of championships personnel have reported a flu-like illness and have been sent home and asked to stay at home. Are the players aware of that?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I just got a letter. I haven't read it. But I guess there's sicknesses all around. Hopefully the players won't get sick.

Q. You got to know Melanie Oudin a little bit in Stowe. She never won a Grand Slam match before. She just lost, but she made it to the fourth round. Talk a little bit about maybe her, if you saw her here, and did you see promise back then?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, it was a couple years ago. I think she was a junior, and the juniors practiced separately from the pros. Although I think sometimes they would come out. But we always did all the activities together, the team dinners, the ITF, you know all that stuff that happens at Fed Cup. So we always did all that together.
Mostly I just remember her smiling, you know, just being really nice to be around, just smiling and laughing. That's what I remember most about her actually.

Q. Did you talk to her at all here?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Uhm, just in passing the other day. I haven't actually seen her until the other day.

Q. The ball-boys and girls having been sent home, just wondering what you thought from a hygiene point of view whether it was a good idea, when players wipe their faces, they hand the towels to them.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, hopefully our immune systems are strong enough. That's what they're there for. We're going to all put ours in use, take vitamin C, keep playing, and call it a day.

Q. You played Radwanska twice this year: tough in Miami, and the other one in Rome. Looks like you got through it pretty easily by the score.
VENUS WILLIAMS: In Miami I had a day where I couldn't do anything right. That was a tough day. If I hit the ball cross-court, it went down the line. So it was a hard day.
She's obviously very talented. She plays a different style game, but very effective at it. Apparently she likes this surface.
But I'll continue with my methods.

Q. Did you do anything different yesterday? Did you come out and practice, or did you take the day off, go into the city?
VENUS WILLIAMS: No days off, especially during Wimbledon. Just practice and just relaxing. Nothing special.

Q. It appears you return serve more aggressively on grass. Today you were taking a lot of those second serves and hammering them and then coming in. Is that a conscious thing on this surface, or in general something you feel you need to do to stay on top?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I think in general that's what I need to be doing. Yes, you're right. Thank you (smiling).

Q. Not trying to give you a recommendation. Talk about the theory behind it.
VENUS WILLIAMS: That's how I was taught to play. Whether I do it or not, it's not because of my coaches. It's my own decision of whether I'm going to come in or stay back.
But if it's in the right position for me, then I hit. If it's a little too close or a little too far, then I play more percentages. But whenever I get a swing at it, I swing.

Q. What have been your observations of your sister's use of Twitter, and how interested are you in Twitter?
VENUS WILLIAMS: You know, I haven't been on. I tried to go see her site the other day, but you have to be a member. And I just got a page, apparently. So I'm gonna go today, and then you can see how I feel about it because I'm gonna go on today.

Q. What has Serena told you about doing it?
VENUS WILLIAMS: She stays really up. She has My Space, Facebook, and Twitter. I never stayed that up, but I guess I'm gonna get updated. I haven't really been on any of her pages, but she's going to be one of my friends now.

Q. Have you learned anything about Serena from her postings on Twitter that you've heard other people mention?
VENUS WILLIAMS: No, no. But I'm sure I'll see today.

Q. You didn't play in that first set like anybody that has been struggling with fitness at all. Is the knee any problem to you at all?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I'm doing everything I can for my knee. And this is Wimbledon, so whatever -- it doesn't matter how much pain I'm in, you know, I'm gonna keep playing.

Q. How much pain are you in?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I'm still smiling.

Q. You had more taped legs than bare legs at the end of that match.
VENUS WILLIAMS: I know. But that's the life of a tennis player or any athlete. Tape and ice and all.

Q. You mentioned that Radwanska is playing different. Did you see her play during this tournament?
VENUS WILLIAMS: No, I said her style of game was a little different than most of the players in the top 10.

Q. Do you think this can be dangerous to you, particularly on grass?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Uhm, I don't think as much about what the other person on the other side's doing, so I'll pretty much focus on my side.
But obviously she's playing well to be in this quarterfinal.

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